Sunday, April 29, 2012

Church news out and about

Interesting statistic heard during the 8:15 service (traditional with liturgy, creed, confession, organ, hymns) this morning. Our service has the lowest numbers, but the best attendance. If we were in church today, chances are we were there last week and the week before.

They announced in church today that Dolly Denman had died. Oh my! Heaven is in for some fun, bright colors and singing. Until a few months ago when she was diagnosed with cancer she was singing in the UALC choir and another community choir. She was no longer driving, but Curt and Barbara, her neighbors, brought her to church faithfully. It doesn't seem all that long ago I remember her riding her bike to church--which probably wasn't safe even for a teen-ager let alone a senior citizen considering the distance and busy route. I figure her death has freed up the angels that must have stopped traffic or sat on the fender guiding her. Dolly and her husband Chuck who died a few years ago were so enthusiastic about Marriage Encounter they must have brought hundreds into the movement back in the 1980s. Their Christmas letters were worthy of the archives. We'll see you later, old friend.
DENMAN Dolly Denman has completed her journey through this mortal life and stepped into eternity with Jesus. Remaining are daughter, Diana; sister, Sandy; nephews, nieces, and friends. Memorial service May 14, 10 a.m., Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, 2300 Lytham Road.

Congregational meeting for Upper Arlington Lutheran Church (UALC) at 12:30 today at the Mill Run campus (Hilliard, Ohio); light lunch. We have a slate of nominees for Council and Nominating Committee to consider and will vote on recommended amendments to the North American Lutheran Church (NALC)'s constitution and full communion relationship with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, the largest Lutheran church denomination in Africa.

Heard on Catholic radio yesterday morning (no source given): "The third largest religious group in America is "fallen away" Catholics." In fourth spot must be "fallen away" Protestants (Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutheran, Brethren). Maybe they're all just trading places?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Armenian Genocide--1.5 million

BEIRUT: On the 97th anniversary (April 24) of the Armenian Genocide, 5,000 people are expected to protest Tuesday in front of the Turkish Embassy in Beirut against Ankara’s refusal to recognize the mass killings as genocide.

The commemoration will kick off with a Mass at the Armenian Orthodox Catholicosate in Antelias, north of Beirut, at 9:30 a.m. Following the Mass, which is expected to gather around 10,000 people, a prayer will be said for the souls of those who were killed in the tragic events.

Read more:

As Hitler was planning to invade Poland:
    Our strength consists in our speed and in our brutality. Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter—with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. It’s a matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization will say about me. I have issued the command—and I’ll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad—that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readiness—for the present only in the East—with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians? —p. 11–12 What about Germany?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The abortion that didn't happen

His mother was a professional basketball player who was scheduled for an abortion, then prayed to God for guidance, got a pretty clear answer the next day in a sermon at church and cancelled her appointment at the abortion clinic.

“JaVale McGee is 7 feet, with a 7'6½" wingspan and a 31½-inch vertical leap, unfathomable for a man his size. At 24, he can tap the front of the rim with his forehead. He can slap the top of the square with his palm. He can dunk a cookie in a bowl of milk 11 feet off the ground. When McGee was at the University of Nevada, an opposing player once explained to his coach why he couldn't guard him: "He jumped over me."

Read the whole story and how she told JaVale.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bonhoeffer at Union Seminary 80 years ago


Accustomed to the rigors of German scholarship and theology, the visiting young student Dietrich Bonhoeffer not yet 25 writes in 1930 about his colleagues—faculty and students—at Union:

“The theological atmosphere of the Union Theological Seminary is accelerating the process of the secularization of Christianity in America. Its criticism is directed essentially against the fundamentalists and to a certain extent also against the radical humanists in Chicago; it is healthy and necessary. But there is no sound basis on which one can rebuild after demolition. It is carried away with the general collapse. A seminary in which it can come about that a large number of students laugh out loud in a public lecture at the quoting of a passage from Luther’s De servo arbitrio on sin and forgiveness because it seems to them to be comic has evidently completely forgotten what Christian theology by its very nature stands for.”

“Things [outside the seminary] are not much different in the church. The sermon has been reduced to parenthetical church remarks about newspaper events. As long as I’ve been here, I have heard only one sermon in which you could hear something like a genuine proclamation, and that was delivered by a negro. . . One big question continually attracting my attention in view of these facts is whether one here really can still speak about Christianity. . . There’s no sense to expect the fruits where the Word really is no longer being preached. But then what becomes of Christianity per se?”

The American seminaries had, of course, taken their lead from the 19th century German theologians, even though as Bonhoeffer noted they were not even up to the level of the fundamentalists they ridiculed. America had long since lost the fervor of the “awakenings” that had shaped it, at least in the seminaries. At that time, Hitler’s small party was gaining ground in Germany. Germany has since recovered from that disastrous time—at least politically and economically. I’m not sure the American mainline churches have been able to expunge the demons of the liberal seminaries.

From p. 105-6 of Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

Cross posted at Collecting my thoughts

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Do couples still get married in churches?

                         Columbus bride

Recently at our Faith of our Fathers group (FOOF) at the UALC Mill Run church we were discussing the removal of most religious/Christian content from public education textbooks and courses despite its inclusion in the founding documents. But maybe we should be looking closer to home.

Today I picked up (free) a copy of Columbus Bride at Giant Eagle. You'd be hard pressed to find any religious content in the wedding photos--hardly even a church or cathedral. Lots of country clubs, old barns, the Atheneum (which has sort of a faux chapel), Franklin Park Conservatory, old wineries, city streets, parks, and party barns. Maybe it's the interior of the modern churches which look like theaters and party houses--so why not just rent one or take the photos outside?

When we were in Russia in 2006 we saw so many weddings in the public square--in front of government buildings, fountains, parks etc. They had 70 years of Communism. What's our excuse?

                 Russian wedding

Cross posted at Collecting my thoughts